I've got a couple places I hunt for free because of a casual conversation at a COOP elevator or a small diner in a small town. Varmints and trapping seem to be the best way to get a foot in the door as not many landowners do that anymore and they are overran with varmints.
If you make yourself more valuable to keep on as a guest hunter by being a friend to the landowner, vs some of the dirt bags that come in to get permission and then bring in friends by the dozen there is the possibility that you might get to deer hunt there as well.
It's not easy.
Dennis is spot on. I heard a recent story about some OHP officers that leased a place in NW Okla and trashed it. They put travel trailers on a campsite, brought their girlfriends out for a fling and walked off and left a grill. The owner was not happy and the lessee's were told to never come back. Landowners want to get to know who you are and what do you REALLY want. How are you going to respect and take care of their property, until that is known you probably won't find a place. My experience has been that once the party gets access to my property they tend to run over me and do whatever they want with no respect to what my rules are.
I quit hunting with my dad and his buddies because the hunted like those officers.
I wanted to go Indian style.
Sleep in a tent and leave no sign that I was ever there.
I began hunting by myself and do so on public land often and it is good.
AR platform Grendel............. just saying!!!